As the Washington Wizards went on to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers 117-110, Bradley Beal scored 41 points, his second 40-point game of the season. After a slow start to the season, which led to many fans questioning if Beal was worth the max contract extension he had just received, the shooting guard has come alive.
Beal is now averaging 22 points per game, and a very impressive 26 points since the night when he scored 42 against the Phoenix Suns.
Bradley Beal recorded 2nd 40-pt game this season.
Last 2 Wizards with multiple 40-pt games in a season? Gilbert Arenas & Michael Jordan. pic.twitter.com/ekzGIouDY3
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 18, 2016
Now in his fifth season since the Wizards drafted Beal out of the University of Florida with the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Beal has still not been close to an all-star game. His performance so far this season has proven that is going to change.
Beal is helping John Wall carry a team with no proven veterans coming off the bench, and has them within one game of the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. Wall is for sure going to be in the all-star game, potentially as a starter, but if Beal is not going to be the other starter in the backcourt he at least deserves to be a reserve.
About as good an extended stretch of basketball as I’ve seen from @RealDealBeal23 in his career.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) December 18, 2016
The only shooting guard in the league averaging more per game than Beal is DeMar DeRozan, who is currently averaging 28.3 points per game with the Toronto Raptors. Both of these guards deserve to be in the game, but the case for Beal is that he is scoring as much as he is with less targets other teams have to worry about. Opponents are able to focus so much of their defense on Beal, but when facing Toronto, they have to think about players other than just DeRozan.
Beal is not getting as much attention as some of the other guards around the league due to Washington’s slow start, but with his recent numbers, he’s sure to start to be noticed around the NBA. Toronto’s players always receive a lot of votes for the all-star game, but Beal is sure to challenge DeRozan for most votes received by a shooting guard as long as he continues to produce.
The bottom line is Beal is finally beginning to reach his potential, and he is only going to get better as he spends more time on the court. He’s still only 23, and is going to be one of the league’s best for years to come.
After 4 years of missing the all-star game, this year is finally going to be Beal’s time. The win over Los Angeles proved he deserves the chance to showcase his talents in front of a national audience.